New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Archive News Releases 2007-2013

Visit the NMDGF website for current news and events.


New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Dan Williams, (505) 476-8004
Public contact: (505) 476-8000



This year’s warm spring temperatures have turned on the game fish across New Mexico, just in time for the new license year that begins Friday, April 1.

Season licenses, including vendor fees and necessary stamps to fish on federal lands, are only $35 for New Mexico residents and are good from April 1 through March 31, 2012. That’s an entire year of outdoor recreation for less than the cost of a few trips to the movies.

This spring, anglers have outstanding options for a variety of fish species. Here are some of this week’s hot spots:

  • Jackson Lake: The lake outside Farmington was stocked recently with 1,500 rainbow trout and fishing has been good to excellent using Power Bait or any gold-bladed spinners.
  • Navajo Lake: Northern pike are in spawning mode and on the move. Anglers have been catching lots of them on Rapala lures.
  • Clayton Lake: The lake has been open for a month and anglers are still catching limits of 10- to 15-inch trout on Power Bait and worms.
  • Eagle Nest Lake – All the ice has melted and fishing is improving for trout and yellow perch on roe and salmon eggs. The lake is open to boating and courtesy dock will be available soon.
  • Conchas and Santa Rosa lakes: Walleye and crappie are warming up and anglers are catching them in 8- to 12-feet of water on minnows and jigs.
  • Rio Grande below butte for walleye
  • Bonito Lake: This may be the busiest lake in the state when it opens for the season Friday. Trout fishing should be hot for holdover rainbow trout and the 6,456 trout stocked there two weeks ago.
  • Elephant Butte Lake: Good-sized white bass are being caught all around the lake on minnows and small lures. Look for the stripers to start turning on soon.
  • Cabresto and Hopewell lakes: If you like brook trout, these two lakes are tough to beat in the spring after the ice melts. Worms usually work best. The Questa Ranger District reports the road to Cabresto is good for high-clearance vehicles.

For a complete report on the latest fishing conditions and rules for waters statewide, please visit the Department of Game and Fish website,


Tune in to New Mexico Game and Fish TV:
“New Mexico Wildlife”
6:30 a.m. Saturdays on KASA Channel 2, Albuquerque
6:30 p.m. Sundays on KENW, Portales
7:30 p.m. Thursdays on KRWG, Las Cruces

NMDGF on Facebook
NMDGF on Twitter
NMDGF on YouTube

Bear logo - click to visit the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish main website